THE Link Centre is the starting and finishing point for the latest running route supplied by Mark Jones of Swindon Striders.

It covers 5.6 miles and is ideal for runners in training for the Swindon Half Marathon - - on Sunday, September 22.

Mark said: “This is the final summer route from the Link Centre as we near autumn and the evenings start drawing in, but it’s a good distance of nearly six miles as people begin to taper their mileage ahead of the Swindon Half Marathon in a couple of weeks.

“Also, if runners haven’t entered yet, I would urge them to get behind this race as this could be the last half marathon in Swindon.

“Support your local town and run.”

LEAVE the Link Centre by the front entrance and take the footpath which goes through the underpass under Whitehill Way.

Head up the hill, turning left at the top where the footpaths cross next to an outdoor gym/play area.

Continue along this path towards Lydiard Park.

Take a left turn through Shaw Ridge Linear Park, crossing Hay Lane, and then enter Lydiard Park.

As you enter the area by the end of the lake, take a left and go through the wood with the lake on your right.

Turn right out of the woods when you see a footpath bridge over the near end of the lake.

Follow this path through the park passing the cafe and play area on your left.

Continue until you reach a cross-roads and then turn left.

Follow the path looping around the park before passing Lydiard House to the left.

Next, join the private road at the rear; continue along this road, passing the church on your right.

At the road junction to Hay Lane, take the path immediately on your right and follow it for a short distance - back over Hay Lane again - and head back as if you are returning to the Link Centre.

However, do not turn right where the paths cross next to the outdoor gym/play area.

Instead, continue along the path, cutting through woods and passing a play area on your right. Continue until a fork in the path and head to the right.

Turn immediately right into a housing estate after passing through a passage way. Continue on the path, cutting through another passageway until you reach Old Shaw Lane.

Turn right and follow the private road up until you reach Shaw Road, follow this to the right and continue until you turn right into Ridge Green.

Follow this path, passing a school on your right, until its end.

Turn left on to the adjoining path, which will take you back to the Link Centre.

Swindon Striders road and trail running club is a club for all seasons, as members run come rain or shine, and it is open to all standards of runners.

Mark Jones, secretary of the club, says it aims to incorporate all runners of all abilities. They stride out with two club runs each week.

There are three sub groups of runners in the Striders.

The first is for those who can run a mile in 11 or 12 minutes. These are often runners who are just getting into the sport and discovering their capabilities.

They can look forward to being encouraged and supported.

The second group is for people who can manage a nine-minute mile. They are the middle set of runners, ranging from people training alone to those working toward half marathon goals.

The third group is for runners Mark refers to as the pretty quick. This group is for local elite athletes - the competition runners.

Along with the obvious health benefits of joining a running club, Mark says it is also a good place to meet new friends.

The Striders also help out at other clubs’ events, such as the Park Runs at Lydiard.